Bing is planning to make several improvements to its Merchant Center, including improvements to the tracking and analytics features. The Bing Merchant Center is used to create stores and catalog feeds which can provide information for Shopping Campaigns as well as Product Ads.
In an attempt to make things easier for advertisers who are managing their feed programs, Bing plans to accept any form of valid Unicode, removing the current alphanumeric-only restriction. They will also change the formatting rules so that “ > “, with the spaces included, will be required as a delimiter.
##Better Detail View Another major change to the Merchant Center will be the addition of a new graph to offer a broader view of the status of all items. While it is possible to display catalog-level details, there is not a good way to get a broader overview of the catalog at this time. The new graph changes this by giving users an at-a-glance overview, with four colours to represent whether the item is currently being processed and served, whether it has been rejected, has expired or is awaiting review. There are also plans to add graphs for the number of impressions an ad has had, and the number of clicks (across all ads) within the last 30 days.
##More Feed Data Under the previous system, advertisers were able to access only the feed that had been uploaded last and related reports. Under the new system, advertisers will have the option to look at the past five feeds as well as their reports. Thanks to this additional historical data, marketers will be able to analyze their data more accurately and will have more information about spikes in clicks and impressions spanning a much longer period.
##More Data Update Options Marketers will also be able to access information about product data via the content API, and they can use FTP upload or manual upload methods, as well as automatic download methods. Rather than being restricted to just one method, webmasters can choose the method they want to use on a case-by-case basis, uploading full catalog feeds when required and then using the Content API for individual product updates. This makes it easier to manage large numbers of advertisements and respond to changing market conditions.
These changes to the Bing Merchant Center are set to be rolled out to all users over the next few weeks.